Today, I’m sharing a story about comments and connections. But if you don’t make it to the end of the story, PLEASE leave me a comment today anyway. It’s worth $20 to someone who needs it. Read on…
I recently read a book called “The Blue Sweater.” I wasn’t really sure it was my kind of book until the author told the story of the blue sweater. Quick summary: uncle gives her a blue sweater with images of Mt. Kiliminjaro, she loves the sweater, kids make fun of the sweater, she donates the sweater. And then 10 years later she’s walking through Africa and sees a small boy wearing that blue sweater. Her blue sweater with her name still on the tag.
That’s the moment when it hits her. And it hit me too. We are all connected. We all share some commonality and universality that we can never really understand. And as lofty as it sounds, that’s one of the reasons I’ve loved blogging for three years now. Because I start to understand some of those connections, usually through comments and reactions to my posts.
In the blogging world, I often tell people that comments are the equivalent of applause. A job well done. A post well written. But really, it goes beyond that. It comes down to how well you’ve connected with someone whether you meant to or not.
It’s the comments on every post that keep me going. That let me know that someone read enough to feel compelled to comment in some way.
But it’s the comments you never see that have a special place in my heart.
I keep my contact information plastered all over my blog. I like to hear from people. I love getting emails. It’s like the grown-up version of running to the mailbox to see if your penpal wrote you. In fact, if you really tried, you could probably find my address somewhere. And I’m okay with that. I’d probably invite you in for a lovely cup of tea.
My inbox does get a bit overwhelmed with too many newsletters and useless press releases and bad pitches (and the occasional good one!). But every once in a while, something sneaks in there unexpectedly. An email from someone I don’t know that comes in out of the blue.
I had one show up on June 7th, 2011 from a woman named Kim. From what I could tell, she wasn’t a blogger and clearly had never been to my blog before. And yet, this is what she wrote:
“I just googled “Will being a mom make me lose my identity?” and I found your blog. I have only read your bio and started crying! I am pregnant with my first and find that my scenario is the exact as yours was. My husband and I are getting “older”, I’ve always liked children but really didn’t know if I would like motherhood but knew if I didn’t do it I would regret it for the rest of my life so HERE WE GO!
Now I’m scared sh*tless but find it so reassuring to hear you say that it’s not what you thought it would be but better! I really can’t wait to dive in and hopefully find some reassurance as I read that what I feel is normal and that I’m not the only one out there that feels this way. I’m afraid that because I will soon be a mom I will have to give up EVERYTHING I love and will never be able to pursue any of my passions any more. Obviously I am aware that some things will definitely have to be put on hold but I’m afraid that they will just all disappear and that I won’t have anything left in life but to be a mommy. Please say that this isn’t so.
Well, before I even begin reading your blog I want to say thank you for writing it!”
I wrote her back and she wrote me back and I think we were both in tears by the end of it.
And there are more people who never comment and never share a personal note with me. But I know they’re there. I see it in my analytics. I look at the search terms. They’re looking for answers, from me:
how to make my house apocalypse ready
should you cut nails if child screaming
reasons why batman is not a superhero
how to pronounce gewurztraminer
(and yes, they find these answers on my blog)
We’re connected, all of us. For some, the internet creates a barrier to others. For people like me, the internet only enhances those connections and lets us know we’re never alone.
Now, it’s time for you to reach out. Don’t be silent. LEAVE A COMMENT TODAY. Even if you’ve only ever lurked, today’s the day to come out of the shadows. Here’s why.
This post is inspired by Shot@Life, an initiative of the United Nations Foundation that educates, connects and empowers the championing of vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries.
During Shot@Life’s Blogust: Bl
In this amazing relay of even more amazing bloggers, I’m taking the baton from the beautiful Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress who wrote her Shot@Life post yesterday. And I get to pass it along tomorrow to the very mighty Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl. You can visit Katherine’s post or Maggie’s post or any of the 30 other bloggers that are participating in Blogust and leave a comment on their Shot@Life post from now until August 31st.
Changing the world, one comment at a time.